Glen Powell’s portrayal of Hangman in the record-breaking Top Gun: Maverick sets up the dormant Captain Planet project for a successful revival.
The massive success of Top Gun: Maverick has reignited hope for Glen Powell's portrayal of the superhero Captain Planet in the Leonardo DiCaprio-produced project. The Top Gun sequel is one of four movies to cross the $1 billion box office mark since 2019, elevating costar Glen Powell to newfound fame. Powell first became attached to Captain Planet in 2016 before it went dormant for several years, but his association with Top Gun: Maverick presents the Captain Planet project with its best chance in years to be produced.
Glen Powell plays fighter pilot LT Jake "Hangman" Seresin in Top Gun: Maverick, but he was set to take to the skies much earlier in 2016 as the star and co-writer of the Captain Planet movie. His career was just taking off at the time with roles in Richard Linklater's Everybody Wants Some!!, the Oscar-nominated Hidden Figures, and his breakout performance in television's Scream Queens. According to Powell, he and co-writer Jono Matt's adaptation of the 1990s cartoon Captain Planet and the Planeteers and its sequel series, The New Adventures of Captain Planet, was to be a "dark and irreverent" take set years later with the titular hero confronting his legacy.
Although the Captain Planet project has been dormant for several years, producer Leonardo DiCaprio hasn't given up on the movie. With Powell's newfound fame, Captain Planet is poised for a buzz-worthy comeback. Previously, Leonardo DiCaprio, fresh off his 2015 Oscar-winning performance in The Revenant, gave Captain Planet its biggest boost, carrying relative unknowns Powell and Matt on his shoulders as producer. However, with Top Gun: Maverick set to make a splash at the 2023 Oscars, including discussions of a possible Best Picture, Glen Powell now provides a similar boost to the all-but-forgotten project.
Top Gun: Maverick's Hangman shares a similar personality with Captain Planet, making Glen Powell the perfect choice to portray the superhero in a live-action adaptation. Hangman endears himself to audiences with his brash demeanor and wry sense of humor, an irreverence that aligns with Powell's original take on Captain Planet. Moreover, the superhero from the 1990s uses sarcastic puns to taunt his foes, much like Hangman incessantly jeers his fellow pilots. Then there's the obvious; both characters can fly, albeit Hangman inside the cockpit of a fighter jet. After being a part of one franchise revival as costar, Glen Powell is now ready to take the reins as the leading man in Captain Planet's return to the screen.
Much of a movie's success, especially early on, relies on a successful marketing campaign and word of mouth. Glen Powell is already top of mind for audiences following the release of Top Gun: Maverick, which opened to the highest-grossing Memorial Day Weekend of all time at $160.5 million. And fans kept going to the theater in droves, earning the sequel the smallest second-weekend drop for any movie to open over $100 million, falling only 29 percent. Word of mouth surrounding Top Gun: Maverick will only increase following the 2022-23 awards season.
Portraying superhero Captain Planet at a time when the genre continues to take the lion's share of yearly box office grosses will only help to boost Glen Powell's popularity. He will, in turn, provide Captain Planet a much-needed boost, given his association with an already successful franchise revival. Thanks to its Top Gun: Maverick ties, alongside a high-profile producer in Leonardo DiCaprio, Captain Planet's prospects of finally taking flight are looking good…very good.
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Nathan Miranda is an artist and aspiring screenwriter with a B.A. degree in Media Arts & Culture from Occidental College in Los Angeles, CA. Prior to writing for Screen Rant, Nathan worked for Regal Cinemas where he helped build and managed their blog, Regal Reel, to which he also regularly contributed. Nathan teamed with his brother Joseph to publish two children’s books in their World Adventure Series, an educational fiction series featuring characters of different nationalities from around the world. The first two books are available at Amazon in print and ebook. As an artist, Nathan specializes in colored pencils. His artwork focuses primarily on film and sports. You can view his portfolio on bonusroomart.com Follow Nathan on Instagram @bonusroomart or on Twitter @NathanMiranda52